Aaliyah Lewis set two more school records, Kayla Edwards got the team off to another quick start and the Alabama State women's soccer team picked up another important conference win by topping Alcorn State 8-1 Sunday afternoon at the ASU Soccer Complex.
The win puts the Lady Hornets (9-9 overall, 6-3 SWAC) in control of their own destiny to clinch the No. 3 seed for the SWAC tournament that is set to begin on Nov. 6. A win in its' regular season finale at home against Alabama A&M on Friday would seal it. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Lewis' nine-point performance in a single game is the most in ASU history for an individual. It besets the previous school record that was shared by Lewis, who had totaled seven points in consecutive games against Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Grambling State earlier this month and India Pleasant, who tallied seven points against Judson College on Sept. 30, 2012.
Lewis' three goals gives her three hat tricks this season and six in her career. Lewis added three assists in the match to also set a new mark. Her 11 assists this season is the most of any player in a single season. Aaliyah passed her twin sister Ariela Lewis, who held the previous record with nine assists in a season for 2013.
As a team, the Lady Hornets also flirted to set a record. The eight goals scored by ASU ties a school record for most in a game. The Lady Hornets last scored eight goals against Talladega College on Oct. 2, 2013.
ASU extended both of its' streaks by picking up its' sixth consecutive victory and seventh straight game in which it has scored at least twice in a game.
The Lady Hornets threatened early and broke through in the 16th minute. Edwards positioned herself just left of center to score inside the 18-yard box on an assist from Lewis. Edwards' shot was directed to the right side and out of reach from Lady Braves' goalkeeper Maegan Ariza.
"Today was a mental challenge," Lewis said. "We came in after a tough one on Friday so we had to regroup. My first feed ball wasn't perfect. Finally, I was able to find her [Edwards]."
In the 20th minute, Lewis dribbled for space and found the back of the net on a pass from Shelbi Vienna-Hallam to give ASU a 2-0 lead. In the 32nd minute, Lewis struck again for another goal on the far end inside the box on a feed from junior midfielder Kaedi Walther.
Lewis was just getting started. The Anchorage, Alaska native completed the hat trick in the 52nd minute on a feed from the big boot of Alexandria Cannon. Then, Lewis clanged a shot off the goal post and right to the foot of Edwards, who finished her second mark of the day. In the 78th minute, Lewis found junior midfielder Alayna Smith for her first score of the season.
"I'm glad we are playing like a team like I know we can," Lewis said. "These are the real Alabama State Lady Hornets."
As for any records that she may set, Lewis said she doesn't really think about numbers until somebody comes up to her and tells her what she had after the game is over.
[The records] It means a lot though," Lewis said. "Growing up in Alaska, I was always told I'd be going from a big fish in a small pond situation to a small fish in a big pond scenario so it's a good feeling. I feel like we're all on the same page right now. We've got very good finishers. I don't feel like it's just me. I know others will be working for me just as I'm working for them. Standing out to me was to help get Alayna [Smith] her first goal of the season. I'm confident that anybody on the team can put it on frame from 20 yards out."
ASU was able to get some early pressure in the match from the onset. Lewis clanged the cross bar in the opening minutes and Vienna-Hallam followed the rebound with a shot that went wide left.
Vienna-Hallam added two more goals in the second half that occurred in the span of under two minutes while Walther and Ally Murphy each picked up an assist.
Katrina Moore scored for the Lady Braves (0-12 overall, 0-9 SWAC).